A Service of brainline.org
About TBI and PTSD
It’s no surprise that service members with TBI may also experience post traumatic stress disorder. Called “soldier’s heart” in the Civil War, “shell shock” in World War I, and “combat fatigue” in World War II, combat-related PSTD has existed as long as war itself. And if you experience an explosion or other event traumatic enough to injure your brain, you’re likely to sustain psychological trauma as well. Despite the fact that the condition has been around for thousands of years, it is sometimes still difficult or controversial to diagnose, especially when it co-occurs with TBI.
Learn some of the basics here about PTSD and TBI.
Michael Roy, MD, Col. (Ret.) talks about how parts of the brain are affected when injured ― from the frontal lobe which houses our emotions to the amygdala which oversees our fight or flight response.
Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD explains word for word what exactly PTSD is, how it can affect someone in the short- and long-term, and what can be done to treat it.
Often people talk about the effects of TBI or the consequences of PTSD as separate conditions — which they are. But for the person who is living with the dual diagnosis of TBI and PTSD, it can be hard to separate them.
Dr. Paul Aravich talks about PTSD and other serious mental disorders as types of brain injuries, which can come with an increased risk for dementia later in life.
More about TBI and PTSD
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An easy-to-read infographic covering the basics of PTSD — common causes, symptom categories, PTSD numbers and clinically recommended treatment options
Use this infographic to learn the symptoms that can help you discriminate between TBI and PTSD for patients who have only one or the other.
"One of the most important things that I tell the soldiers is they're not crazy. They're having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation…"
"I have come as close to the truth as a I can, and now I am free of the facts,” says Janet Burroway about her soldier son's suicide.
Learn exactly what post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is and what can trigger it.
The brain is incredibly complex — take an interactive journey to see how the brainworks and what impact a traumatic event can have.
More than 200,000 women make up nearly 15 percent of the US Armed Forces — and just like the men, many have TBI and PTSD.
Learn about the Dole Foundation Fellows — military caregivers who are speaking out about the challenges and needs of caregivers across the country.
Dr. Jack Tsao says that, to date, there is no research showing that TBI directly causes PTSD but there may be a higher likelihood of someone with TBI developing PTSD.
Dr. Jack Tsao talks explains the symptoms associated with TBI and PTSD, how they can exacerbate each other, and the best treatment approach.
Apps to help with PTSD.
It’s easy to confuse post-traumatic stress (PTS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to sharing similar names, there’s considerable overlap in symptoms between the two conditions.
Service members and veterans often don't want to admit they have symptoms of PTSD, or maybe they are not aware that they do. Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD talks about how healthcare providers can ask the right questions to help.
Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD talks about how using evidence-based guidelines, healthcare providers can work with patients to take small steps as a way to feel safe and in control of their own progress.
"We all do better when we have people to help us bear the weight of our burden," says Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD. People with PTSD have a better outcome when they are supported by friends, family, colleagues, and community.
In the military, service members are taught: "Say later, stay alive!" But once home, says Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD, that feeling of being on high alert is hard to turn off.
Citizen soldiers have one boot in two worlds ... the civlian and military cultures being very different. Healthcare providers need to educate themselves on the many ways Guard and Reservists, especially after a TBI, may see themselves.
Dr. Anand Veeravagu says that it is the mission of the DoD and the VA to continue to put combat-related mental health issues at the forefront of care.
Learn about the similarities and differences of combat stress and posttraumatic stress disorder to help prevent or effectively manage both.
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